In the ongoing Bluefloods Campaign, my 6th level Dwarf Cleric/Fighter, Zhuld-Zir, was transformed into an Orc. I’m not sure what you may know about Orcs and Dwarves, but there is a mutual hate regardless of what game system or setting you’re playing in. Case in point, using AD&D rules, the Dwarf race receives a +1 to hit an Orc, Half-Orc, Goblin and Hobgoblin due to the history of hatred between the races. Needless to say, ZZ is not very happy.
This situation came about through one of the more popular traps our DM likes to set: Pay some money, roll some dice and see what happens! The party entered a room to find three statues and a coffer in front of the statue of a Jester. The box read something along the lines of “Pay your silver, take your chance”, so of course everyone in the party had to participate. The overall results for the party were generally neutral. The Fighter received a magic +1 sword, the Wizard gained an irrational fear of fish, the Ranger received the service of an Imp and my Dwarf was turned to an Orc. I think I got the short end of that stick, but it does bring into play a very interesting conundrum that will be fun to play out.
A funny side note, the party did find a jester’s outfit while searching the room. Of course I had my newly formed Orc put it on, as it was obviously going to be cursed, but I figured why not, I’m already an Orc, might as well go all the way with this transformation. It did lead to me receiving a +4 bonus to my saving throws against area of effect spells so at least there has been some benefit from this catastrophe.
While the DM and I haven’t sat down to figure out what last effects this may have (taking a short break due to party availability), I have some speculations of what I think will happen to my Dwarf. After trying to use a Remove Curse and Dispel Magic spell on myself, I remain an Orc. At the time of transformation, I was able to keep the following: currently memorized spells, my general stats, alignment, and (by the grace of my GM) my magic armor and weapons. I did lose the special abilities that Dwarves have, which include bonuses to saving throws.
The first glaring issue that I see with this is that I don’t think the Dwarven Kingdom, which we are using as our current base of operations when not out exploring, will accept an Orc just walking into town without some trouble. I think there is very little that I’d be able to do to convince the Dwarfs that I am one of them and have just unfortunately been turned to an Orc. Maybe if I flash some gold and/or gems, I can at least save myself from instantly being beheaded and taken to my church to find a dwarf cleric of high enough level to cast a Restoration spell on me. The other option might be that the party treat me as their “slave” and using this guise, take me to a church and pay to have a restoration spell be cast on me. This way, the dwarves might accept that a race they see as lower is serving their proper role, but they might not let me in just because of their hatred for Orcs, it’s tough to say.
My second concern is that we aren’t going to be able to get back to a city in time to undo what has been done. I have a feeling that the longer I stay an orc, the more my character’s mind will turn to Orc and I will not want to change back or lose the ability to. We are currently in the process of storming a castle to check on what’s going on inside and likely won’t be back to the Dwarven Kingdom in the next few weeks. I’m not worried about my stats changing, other than maybe Wisdom. Orcs are still strong and have low intelligence, which fit my character well but I’m not sure how their Wisdom looks. If that stat starts to change, it could have some really detrimental affects on my character’s class. We haven’t discussed if I’m able to speak to my God yet, but I have a feeling that I have lost that connection. If I’ve lost that connection, then I’m sure I won’t be able to memorize new spells overnight and might cause my god to lose faith in me or even smite me for my heresy.
While I was able to keep my alignment at the start, I wonder if that will change as well. Doing some research in the Monster Manual (only because I assume Dwarves would have solid knowledge of what Orcs are), I find that Orcs tend to lean towards Lawful Evil. If this is the case, then my alignment may start to shift from Good to Evil, which is also a no-no when it comes to non-Drow Dwarves. While this would lead to some interesting conflicts between ZZ and the party/his god/his race, I think it would ultimately lead to his excommunication from his church, as well as from his home. While he’s always been a bit of a rebel, I don’t think I’d place him as an evil nomad.
All of this being said, I leave final judgements to the DM as I’m just speculating on what the consequences of this transformation might end up being. I tend to look at the worst possible scenario for my character when I speculate, which normally doesn’t happen in game but I still find it to be a fun exercise. I think others in my party might have a solution to the issue, but until we pick back up, who knows!!